Svante Stockselius explains the Eurovision Song Contest changes announced last Friday on the official site eurovision.tv today. While many details have not been worked out, it is clear that both 2008 Semi-Finals will take place on the same night. Svante suggests that the Semi-Finals themselves may be pre-recorded with only a live portion of the broadcast used for the results. This could be a bigger change than any other announced so far this year.
Both Semi-Finals should be aired on the same night due to practical and financial considerations. If both Semi-Finals are broadcast at the same time it is highly unlikely that both would be carried live, this would result in one or both of them being pre-recorded.
"The details are yet to be decided upon, but the proposal is based on the idea that the two Semi-Finals … will be aired simultaneously on Thursday, 22nd of May from Belgrade, Serbia. If the two Semi-Finals will both be recorded, whereas only the results will be broadcast live, or if one of the Semi-Finals will be aired live and the other one recorded, is unknown yet," Svante Stockselius the Contest's Executive Supervisor explained to eurovision.tv today.
"Each Semi-Final is only being aired in the countries that are taking part, and only viewers from countries that take part in each respective Semi-Final can vote," Stockselius added. However broadcasters will have the option of broadcasting the other Semi-Final later. Both Semi-Finals will be made available to fans on eurovision.tv according to their report.
The jury returns?
Stockselius also confirms esctoday.com's news that Contest organizers might allow the back-up juries to decide 1 of the 10 qualifiers from each Semi-final, although nothing has been definitely decided. According to eurovision.tv, "In each Semi-Final, the highest ranked country of the back-up juries that is not in the top-9 yet may receive a wildcard to the Final as well."
Stockselius explained, "It is … an answer to the many requests we received to use a mixed tele-voting/jury system."
Major changes to the Eurovision Song Contest were announced last Friday. According to the new format almost all participants in the Contest Final must first qualify in one of two Semi-Finals. Only last year's winner and the "Big Four" countries will be directly qualified to the Final.